One of the distinct issues that exists when ministering to Asian-Americans is the concept of grace. Most of us grow up with hard-working parents, who push us to try to earn everything in life. We do not want anything for free, we just want a fair shake. Because of this, Asian-Americans have a strong sense of earning anything good out of life. For example, if we want to have successful lives and good reputations, it comes from hard work, in school and on the job. Often it seems like we try hard to be the model minority, never making waves and speaking out politically or asking for help from others, even in the face of racism or injustice. It is this value that clashes with the gospel of grace–we get what we don’t deserve. One has to
truly cater any kind of Christian Education among Asian-Americans with a strong emphasis on the undeserved, unmerited favor of God.
Aside from grace, Asian-Americans must also learn about God’s kingdom in a corporate environment. It is the American value of individualism that is at odds with the concept of community and a corporate body of
Christ. Teaching about one’s place in the kingdom and in the big picture can help free Asian-Americans from a me-first mentality. As we already identify with other Asian-Americans because of the shared minority experience, it would be prudent to teach through this lens, showing how they are also a member of a more eternal group–the body of Christ.
In regards to discipleship, it would be very important to instill in Asian-American Christian parents the value of mentoring their children. This happens not just word, but by leading through modeling. Often Asian-American Christians who have grown up in Christian homes have a difficult time talking with their parents about faith, because they find it awkward. It is up to the parents to initiate this dimension of their relationship, and to do it during formative stages. Furthermore, Asian-American young people need to see godly lives lived out by their parents, as they follow their example. This makes faith a family affair, especially if their churches have divided their congregations across language and age group lines.